14 March 2017
Timchenko Foundation General Director Maria Morozova addresses 13th annual Vedomosti conference
The 13th annual Vedomosti conference on charity in Russia took place in Moscow 3 March 2017. This year's topic for discussion: Infrastructure of Charity.
At the plenary session, titled “Charitable infrastructure components: what to grow first over the next three years”, Maria Morozova joined the debate on the special working environment in the provinces to share the Timchenko Foundation's best practices in project implementation.
“Our special situation is that all of the Foundation's programmes are implemented in the provinces; we are now operating on a nationwide scale, with most of our projects run in towns and villages, and this is where the shortage of social resources is felt most acutely. That is why we treat charity as social investment in the provinces, which improves their prospects,” said Maria Morozova. “Even the largest foundation based in Moscow is incapable of micromanaging such large-scale programmes. That is why we feel it's important to both rely on and invest in the social infrastructure of provinces.”
According to Maria Morozova, the first priority is to rely on people and organizations willing to do a good job of meeting long-term social challenges and to help them grow. Such an approach promises sustainable results and deep penetration into the local life.
“E.g., among the solutions to manage grant competitions in the provinces is the engagement of local organizations, whose mission statements call not only for higher civic activity but also for a focus on local growth – specifically, through involving the authorities and local philanthropists. It is such teams that have become the key managers of two nationwide competition-based programmes: Active Generation and Cultural Mosaic. We see our relationship as a partnership and are committed to growing it. Colleagues from such organizations always have a better understanding of the local situation than we do, which is a great advantage. Apart from competitions in the provinces, we also run our own pilot projects,” said Maria Morozova. “Now, for example, we have launched such a project to put in place an interdepartmental system of geriatric assistance.”
The conference attendees – representatives from non-profits, charities, business community and government – also discussed topical issues such as sectoral development, the main obstacles to infrastructure building in the sector, the government's role in supporting charity, ways to promote a positive attitude in society towards charity work, to name but a few.
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